On this day, Dec. 21, in hip-hop history...

2009: Lil Wayne and his band of rapper upstarts known as Young Money dropped their first compilation album, We Are Young Money, on Dec. 21, 2009.

Like notable rap compilations that came before it (from The Firm's The Album to The Dungeon Family's Even in Darkness), We Are Young Money combined and displayed all the best parts of the clique and made stars out of the key members. At a time when Young Money was just four years old, Wayne and Birdman had built up an extensive roster of artists and producers. Wayne, Drake, Nicki Minaj, Jae Millz, Gudda Gudda, Mack Maine, Tyga, T-Streets, Short Dawg, Shanell, Lil Twist and Lil Chuckee were all featured vocalists on the 15-track LP and production credits included Chase N. Cashe, Cool & Dre, David Banner, Tha Bizness and Kane Beatz.

The album birthed more than a couple smash hits for the group. "Every Girl," released in June of 2009 to tease the project, peaked at No. 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 while "BedRock" peaked at No. 14. Other sleeper hits included "Roger That" (which Nicki killed), "Steady Mobbin'" (the party anthem of '09) and "Streets Is Watchin'" (keeping fans on their toes).

The LP as a whole debuted at No. 9 on the Billboard 200 and is certified gold in sales. Critics praised Young Money for giving all of its artists a chance to shine within one concise project and allowing the newer rappers to deliver bars. Drake and Nicki Minaj definitely separated themselves from the pack and would go on to be Young Money's most successful proteges.

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